Over the years, customer experience in the wellness industry has changed vastly. How brands react to consumers’ habits and preferences is the most important aspect of owning a spa, fitness studio, or salon. It’s all about giving people a personalized and enjoyable experience. Part of this means that you should provide a carefully formulated and tailored experience to each customer.
A few decades back, consumers would sign up for a yoga or spin class and have the same experience as everyone else in that session. Jump ahead a few years and add the internet to the mix – now you have the power to connect with your audience using advanced analytics. It was a whole different ball game.
Wellness customers could learn more about a brand’s offerings – from complementary services to gift card options they never knew of. The ‘one-size-fits-all’ marketing approach isn’t something that people want anymore. They want individualism, attention, and appreciation. So, how can your spa, salon, yoga, or fitness studio give them that?
Personalized Wellness Experiences Today
The reality is that customers enjoy tailored experiences, and it seems to be a trend here to stay. According to the recent future of wellness market study on McKinsey, more than 88% of consumers prioritize personalization as much as they did or more than they did two to three years ago.
In light of this, small business owners and instructors have begun to understand the meaning of customer segmentation and, more importantly, why consumers want tailored experiences when they go to a spa or attend an online yoga class.
Let’s take a fitness studio as an example. Your customer, Andrea, loves to attend your spin classes. But she is not a fan of yoga. So, when you’re sending out your monthly promotional yoga class emails – you don’t want to send them to Andrea because you know that isn’t what she prefers. So, how do you segment and target the right message to the right person?
Thanks to the power of the internet and data analytics, wellness studio owners can easily find what consumers are intrigued by – and use this data as a way forward in marketing.
Customer segmentation stems from these analytics and is vital to reaching customers and giving them the right message. Here’s a breakdown of all you need to know about segmentation and how marrying segmentation with automation can help boost customer retention.
What is Customer Segmentation?
Customer segmentation is the process of dividing customers into specific groups based on common characteristics. Businesses can then market to each group in a more personalized manner.
Business-to-consumer marketing segments include (but are not limited to) age, gender, marital status, location, or life stage. We’ll discuss a few types of segments you can use in detail later.
Once you segment customers, your business can tailor messaging and positioning to that segment – effectively improving the audience’s reaction to the content right from the get-go.
Segmentation can be a powerful tool for small business owners if planned carefully and backed up by data. Once you have customer segments, you learn what those customers want and how to handle any reactions they may have to your service. Segments provide a way to manage and maintain customer retention more easily.
Examples of Customer Segmentation in the Fitness Industry
Now that we’ve established what customer segmentation is, let’s review how you can use it in the fitness industry. Here are three examples of customer segmentation that you can use to target a niche audience:
Many people do fitness sessions regularly to become healthier or increase their body strength. Others may sign up for fitness classes to help impact specific health needs like lowering their cholesterol or regulating their blood pressure. The first step they take is usually setting a fitness goal. If you take the time to collect data according to your customers’ fitness goals, this segment is an excellent way of tracking fitness progress, goal targets and achievements. A fitness goal segment can also help you build a long-term relationship with customers and help them stay positive about their progress.
Like other hobbies and interests, fitness has many facets to it. So, if someone joins a Pilates class, it doesnt necessarily mean that they’ll love a spin class or yoga session. In fact, people often prefer one fitness style over others. This preferential behavior is a great way of segmenting your customers. For example, group the yoga class attendees as one segment, Pilates as another, and spin or aerobics in their own segments. This way, you’ll be able to create targeted and specific content to these segments that you know would interest them – no matter when or where they interact with you.
Most people have a routine and tend to stick to it. But often, some people like to try out a yoga class, and prefer to join infrequently. How often your customers visit your studio is an incredible stat – it allows you make contact in the right tone and time. For example, people who attend classes five times per week may want more upbeat and high-energy tips and advice. These people tend to be more competitive and love a challenge. But attendees who join once a week may want to hear more long-term goal achieving advice, and why they should keep coming to their fitness class. Different audiences need to be spoken to and connected with in different ways.
Types of Customer Segmentation
There are many ways to segment customers, but personal information is a simple but effective way to gather core information about your audience. This should answer the following question: ‘Who are these customers and what are their goals?’ You can create clusters based on the following:
- Fitness goals
- Specific fitness interests
Data such as birthday information is great to capture so that you can wish your customer a happy birthday on their special day. Try to tie in something related to your business with the message, like, ‘Happy birthday! Use code BIRTHDAY22 for 20% off when you sign up for our new yoga course!’ This can be a potential upsell, and by knowing your customer’s specific interests, you can target a discount code to that interest that you serve.
This is when organizations group customers based on their buying behavior and how they interact with your brand. Some behavior-related segment examples are:
- Types of Classes:
Which type of classes does this customer attend? Which classes are they interested in but haven’t signed up to as yet?
How often does a customer come in?
How loyal is this customer to you? Do they use your discount promo codes or invite a friend coupon?
Does a customer just attend classes, or also purchase merchandise or any other services you offer? If so, how often do purchases occur?
When you have customers on a membership plan, there is so many useful pieces of information exposed to you, which you can use to your advantage. Try to segment customers based on:
- What membership plan or tier are they on?
- How long have they been a member?
- What is their payment frequency?
- When was their last visit?
- Have they renewed a membership before?
More in the marketing sphere, campaign engagement is designed to help you understand how your customers have interacted and reacted to your campaigns. Such campaigns can be via email, SMS, or in-studio. The key here is to try to understand which campaigns work the best, and why. Here are a few ways to segment campaign engagement:
- What type of campaigns are customers responding to?
- Do they prefer text or email?
- What times and which days are customers most engaged?
- How many coupon codes have been used from a campaign?
Building Your Customer Journey with Segmentation & Automation
We’ve established the types of customer segments that can be used. Now you can leverage customer segmentation and personalization to build out an entire customer journey – and automate this journey with the right message, to the right customer, at the right time. This drives positive results, reinforces accuracy, and builds trust.
Here’s an example; if you know a customer hasn’t visited in over a month and their birthday is coming up in the next seven days, offer them a small incentive for their next class. This can all be done automatically without you having to manually configure any aspect. Some marketing automation platforms like Gleantap are designed to help organizations create dynamic segments based on unified customer data.
Today, you have the opportunity to leverage the insights you receive from data and use it to run powerful, segmented campaigns for customers. The best part of marketing automation is that there are no endless Excel spreadsheets to track segments and results. Automation platforms help intelligently segment and launch automatic campaigns based on where the customer is in their journey.
If you’re ready to build out your customer journey, here are a few steps to help you on your way:
Step 1: Define your touchpoints
To build your customer journey, begin by laying out a draft plan with the various touchpoints. Look at these touchpoints from your customer’s perspective, and try to define what steps you would want an ideal customer to take.
Touchpoints should include things like:
- What happens if a customer hasn’t visited in a while?
- What happens when a customer starts to fall off or become disinterested?
- What happens if a customer responds negatively to one of your feedback campaigns?
- What happens when a customer’s membership is due for renewal?
Step 2: Create segments based on these touchpoints
Once your touchpoints are defined, collect the appropriate data and segment your customers. Users should be segmented based on events, actions, or attributes. An event could be a membership renewal being due. An action could be someone negatively reacting toward your feedback survey. Each of these occurrences are there to help you define an implementation strategy.
Step 3: Decide which channels to leverage
Once your segments are established, use a marketing automation platform and start planning which channels you’d like to leverage for engagement. The most popular ways to engage customers are through text and email.
Text comes across as more intrusive than email – but when used right, it is a powerful tool. With this in mind, you should only use text for really crucial call to actions. On the other hand, email can be used more frequently. People are accustomed to receiving frequent emails from businesses – but don’t overdo it. Stick to a maximum of two messages per week.
Step 4: Analyze and adjust
Based on your results, you should constantly analyze your results and ensure that your campaigns are being tweaked accordingly. Watch which text messages or emails gain the most traction and do more of them. If particular messages aren’t resonating with a segment – stop using them. Data is the best way of understanding what your customers are interested in. Listen to it.
The Benefits of Segmentation and Marketing Automation
Builds and emotional connection
Everyone is so used to getting hundreds of emails in a single day. The world is a buzzing place, so it’s essential that your message is personalized and authentic. If it is, your email is sure to stick out from the crowd and customers will appreciate the personalization, too. This appreciation also helps build a solid connection and strong relationship with that customer.
Saves time and makes marketing campaigns more efficient
Imagine having to take note of each customer’s birthday, and then sending a wish to every member on their birthday. If you have 250 members – that’s 250 manual birthday emails that you’d have to fire off. Or finding a customer’s personal information and drafting an email to them with a small incentive every time their membership is up for renewal. It’s tedious, manual, and just not practical. But with automation and personalization, it’s an absolute breeze.
Gives customers a better experience
21st-century customers want personalized experiences. Every customer expects to be treated as a VIP, and personalization does that – and does it well. It shows an advanced level of sophistication of a business, and it moreover, it offers a richer and fulfilling experience to its customers.
In Summary: Segmentation and Automation Retains Customers
We are no longer in the mass communication era. Today, we’re living in a relationship-centric era, and to win in this era, companies need to adapt and transition to using sophisticated strategies and tools that uplift the customer experience – and ultimately drive growth and positive results.
How segmentation and automation fits into the bigger picture
The ultimate goal for any business owner is to increase subscriptions, generate more revenue, and retain customers. Once loyalty and advocacy are built, you have your golden pot at the end of the rainbow.
Customer segmentation using marketing automation tools is one strategy that is sure to get you one step closer to that pot. We can see how crucial personalization is to consumers in the wellness industry. They thrive on feeling appreciated and motivated.
The bottom line:
It’s tough to be recognized amongst thousands of other wellness businesses out there. There’s no need to make that challenge any tougher. Automation tools and platforms married with creative customer segmentation tactics are the future of wellness studios’ success.
Co-Founder, Gleantap & Mastera